It took four games but the Moffat County Bulld,ogs (1-0 Western Slope, 2-4 overall) closed out their first Western Slope League volleyball game with a win on Thursday night.
The Rifle Bears (0-1 Western Slope, 0-1 overall) were unable to combat the heavy hitting and solid defense that the Bulldogs produced.
The Bulldogs started out a little rough around the edges, falling behind 0-7 during the opening game, but bounced back and took the contest 25-19.
"Things are starting to come together," said junior middle blocker Amy Dilldine.
The second game was similar, with the Bears leading for much of the way, up 5-10. The Bulldogs remained positive, fighting back and pulling ahead to win, 27-25.
"They were all close games," Rifle's head coach Geneva Farr said. "They were scrappy."
During the second and third games, the Bulldogs slipped into familiar territory, with mental mistakes and ball handling errors that hurt their chances at a lead.
The third game was the killer for the Bulldogs, losing to the Bears, 22-25. Moffat County suffered six service, or ball-handling, errors during that game.
"We always played behind," interim head coach Deb Yoast said. "Except the fourth game."
The fourth game was a welcome breath of fresh air for Moffat County, jumping out to a lead with eight straight points from junior setter Meghan Innes. Up 8-0, the Bulldogs cruised to victory, winning, 25-12.
Yoast was adamant Friday that the team is beginning to show signs of consistency, but that it was not quite there yet.
"Last night, we weren't hitting, and our blocks weren't tight," Yoast said. "We weren't consistent like I know we can be and like I've seen them play."
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Griffin, who had 10 kills and five aces, and fellow juniors Dilldine and Sharina Simpson had seven and five kills, respectively. Dilldine also pushed things up at the net, recording five blocks. Senior Shaylyn Kawcak had 12 assists, and Innes followed with 12 of her own.
Assistant coach Sherman Romney said that to contend with Glenwood Springs, the team would have to play better volleyball today.
Glenwood Springs is 1-1 in the Western Slope League play and is coming off a loss to Steamboat Springs.
During that match, the Demons were paced by senior hitter Summer Sherman, who tallied eight kills and two blocks on the night.
The Bulldogs are looking for their first two-match win of the season.
Game time is set for 1 p.m. today at Moffat County High School.
Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or email@example.com.